Bee Diary: May 24, 2010

Beltane                                          Waxing Planting Moon

Discovered an important aspect of bee-keeping this morning.  When the temperature is 87 and the dew point is above 70, it gets really, really hot in the bee suit.  Hot 05-24-10_bee-diary_6701enough that by the time I finished I had begun to get dizzy, sweat literally dripped off my forehead and face.  I couldn’t get the bee-suit off fast enough.  Came inside, sat down and drank a couple of glasses of water, didn’t move.  Better now, but whoa.

(a frame of honey from colony #1)

Colony 1 has begun to produce honey!  The top honey super has several frames full.  The second, bottom super is not as full.  I’m not sure whether I should put on another honey super or two.  Need to poke around in the bee literature.  Colony 2 has filled up the hive box divided from the parent colony (#1) and has begun to build comb in the new hive box.

While inspecting this colony, I transferred all the new frames and foundations to a new hive box.  When I put the current one on, I didn’t notice I had failed to drill an entrance hole in it.  I took one out with a hole and switched the frames into it, then closed up colony 2.  Its primary job is to fill two hive boxes and make honey for overwintering.  Beyond that it may make some honey late in the summer, but maybe not.  Either way is good.

The package colony, #3, has drawn out a good bit of comb and has made progress with larvae, honey and pollen, but is not yet ready for the second hive box.  That goes on when 80% or so of the frames have drawn out comb filled with those three.

Two stings today, both happened when lifting frames.  I inadvertently placed my index finger on two different bees.  It is not a big deal at all now, a nuisance.

The smoker stays lit for the whole operation, too.  That’s a big and important advance for me.  My movements have slowed down and my inner world has a much calmer 05-24-10_bee-diary_6702aspect to it.

(colony #2 with its hat at rakish angle)

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